It’s mid-August so it means basketball fans can start planning out their schedules for the upcoming season. The National Basketball Association released the schedule for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday night.
Here are some of the highlights of the upcoming season:
Spurs vs. Mavericks – Oct. 28 – 8 p.m. ET – TNT
Gregg Popovich along with the entire Spurs organization will have the privilege of raising their fifth banner on Oct. 28. The Dallas Mavericks were one of the few teams that gave the Spurs trouble last season and with an improved roster they may do the same this year. By keeping Dirk Nowitzki and making key additions to the roster, which includes Chandler Parson, Tyson Chandler and Jameer Nelson expect the Mavericks to have another good year.
Rockets vs. Lakers – Oct. 28 – 10:30 p.m. ET – TNT
Kobe Bryant is expected to make his return as the Lakers host Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets on Oct. 28. After finishing last season 27-55, the Lakers hope Bryant’s comeback, acquiring Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and drafting Julius Randle will help turn things around. Only time will tell.
Knicks vs. Cavaliers – Oct. 30 – 8 p.m. ET – TNT
LeBron James will make his official return to Cleveland on Oct. 3o when the Cavaliers host the New York Knicks. Its expected for the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade Kevin Love for the No. 1 picks of the 2013 and 2014 NBA Draft Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. If this deal goes through, James will have Love, Kyrie Iriving, Mike Miller, Dion Waiters and potentially Ray Allen (if he decides not to retire) on the roster. If Love goes to Cleveland they will be the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
Thunder vs. Clippers – Oct. 30 – 10:30 p.m. ET – TNT
The 2014 MVP, Kevin Durant will tip-off his 2014-15 season by taking on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staple Center on Oct. 30. The Clippers have been through a lot in the past few months but with a new owner they can now focus on basketball.
Cleveland vs. Miami – Dec. 25 – 5 p.m. ET – ABC
One of the most anticipated games this season will be when LeBron James returns to South Beach on Christmas Day. A lot of fans were unhappy with superstar for leaving Mimi but he can’t please everyone. James choose to do what was best for himself and his family. As for the Heat, they have a huge void to fill and with an aging Dwayne Wade they may not have a great season.
Lakers vs. Bulls – Dec. 25 – 8 p.m. ET – TNT
This will be a fun match up since the two super star players on the teams, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose both coming back from injuries. After playing for a couple months, both players will be able to assess where they are at physically and mentally, which are key for their comebacks. Also, Pau Gasol will have the chance to take on his former teammates.
Clippers vs. Warriors – Dec. 25 – 10:30 p.m. ET – TNT
The Clippers and Warriors are becoming a state rivalry. In the past few years, emotions and frustrations between the two teams have become clear during games. They don’t like each other and with the Western Conference begin so competitive it makes the rivalry that much better.
Other Notable Games:
Rockets vs. Timberwolves (in Mexico City) – Nov. 12 – 10 p.m. ET – ESPN
The Timberwolves and Spurs were scheduled to play a game in Mexico City last season but it was canceled at the last minute because of an electrical fire in the arena. This year, the NBA hopes not to run into any problems as the Rockets take on the Timberwolves on Nov. 12.
Spurs vs. Cavaliers – Nov. 19 – 7 p.m. ET – ESPN
The Spurs coasted past LeBron James and the Miami Heat during the Finals just a few months ago. This time around James will have the chance to beat the Spurs with a new roster.
Jason Kidd left the Nets on bad terms and will make his return to Brooklyn in mid-November. Kidd’s new team, the Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Expect both teams to be professionals throughout the match but you never know what can happen.
Heat vs. Spurs – Feb. 6 – 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
The Finals rematch will take place just a few days before the All-Star Break, which will be a full week rather than just a few days off. The Heat might have a really hard time keeping up with the Champions now that James is in Cleveland. They struggled against the Spurs with James on the team and now that he is gone it remains to be seen how the team comes together and reacts to the loss.
Cavaliers vs. Bulls – April 5 – 3:30 p.m. ET – ABC
This match up might serve as a preview of a playoff series. These are the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference and most expect both teams to make a run in the playoffs.